Youngsville Borough Council sides with local businesses

Come on, Youngsville, feel the noise.

That was the message brought to borough council by the owners of a local business.

Ed Shaneberger and Deb Snow of Brokenstraw Valley Winery asked council what they could do to be allowed to have some music that can be heard outside the confines of their building.

Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg cited the pertinent section of the nuisance ordinance that prohibits “loud playing of … sound devices so as to be heard beyond the premises from which the sound shall emanate.”

“If it goes outside, it’s considered nuisance,” Hagberg said.

Snow and Shaneberger said they have consulted with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and want to have the option to have outdoor events with music.

They asked if they could be granted an exception or a variance.

“We want to make sure we’re not doing something that’s in conflict with the borough’s ordinances,” Snow said. “We just want to do it the right way.”

That was half the battle, as far as the council was concerned.

“They’re doing it the right way, they’re asking permission, not forgiveness,” Council Member Todd Lake said.

But, the borough cannot simply tell business owners to go ahead and violate the ordinance, according to Solicitor Tim Bevevino.

“To say, ‘I’m going to give you permission to violate the nuisance ordinance,’ I don’t think that is something this body has the power to do,” Bevevino said.

He suggested that the council, if they would like to encourage music at local businesses, could look into “carving out” some exceptions within the ordinance. “If you’re going to allow it, you’re going to have to create a permit,” he said.

When the visitors began to try to convince the council of the value of being able to have musical events, they were interrupted.

“We’re on your side,” Council Member Troy Clawson said.

“From my standpoint, I think it’s a great opportunity for you or anybody else to increase business,” Council Member Rick Brewster said. “We want to encourage people to come here.”

The council tabled the matter to give Hagberg time to study the PLCB legal issues.

In the meantime, Mayor Scott Nelson said he would establish a committee to get to work on the details of an amended ordinance.